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CRTC to work with allies abroad to catch rogue telemarketers

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais talks with media about the Bell-Astral decision, Thursday June 27, 2013 in Gatineau, Que.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The head of the CRTC says the agency is exploring a range of new investigative tools, including international operations to catch rogue telemarketers who operate outside of Canada.

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais says the federal telecom regulator and its allies in other countries will deploy special phone numbers to detect calls by unscrupulous sales organizations that don't abide by Canada's telemarketing rules.

He says the CRTC is also working with the private sector on a system that would allow Canadians to easily forward information about suspicious calls for followup investigations.

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Blais made the comments in a speech delivered Thursday morning to a business group in Toronto.

His speech comes a day after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission revised rules for the national system that was set up in 2008 to prevent unwanted phone calls from telemarketers.

The CRTC announced Wednesday that consumers will no longer be required to register their numbers every five years to keep them active on the list – despite industry opposition to permanent registrations.

There are currently about 12 million numbers registered on the national do-not-call list and the federal telecommunications regulator says about 1,200 are added daily – about 400,000 a year.

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